Ford Powershift transmission
Ford Powershift transmission. Click image to enlarge

Detroit, Michigan – The Ford Motor Company has announced that it will introduce an advanced dual-clutch PowerShift six-speed transmission in North America for the small car segment in 2010. The company said the new transmission will deliver the fuel efficiency of a manual gearbox, with the convenience and ease of a premium automatic transmission.

“PowerShift represents a true competitive advantage for Ford, and is one of the many technologies that will help our global small car platforms set a new world standard for efficiency and drive quality,” said Barb Samardzich, vice-president of Global Powertrain Engineering. “This advanced six-speed is an improvement over today’s automatic transmissions in terms of fuel economy, while providing customers an even more fun-to-drive experience.”

Ford said that almost 100 per cent of its transmissions will be advanced six-speed units by 2013, and that, along with EcoBoost engines, hybrids, full electric vehicles, vehicle weight reduction and electric power-assisted steering, it will improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions fleet-wide by 30 per cent by 2020.

Compared to a traditional automatic four-speed transmission, PowerShift can help reduce fuel consumption by up to nine per cent, depending on the application, the company said. The dual-clutch technology, which uses one clutch for each set of even and uneven gears, provides uninterrupted torque to the wheels. In Europe, Ford currently offers a twin wet-clutch PowerShift transmission in the Ford Focus, required to handle the higher torque levels in the model’s available diesel engine. In North America, a dry-clutch derivative will be used. Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, which uses wet clutch plates submerged in oil, the dry-clutch PowerShift does not require an oil pump or torque converter.

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